Flying to India Amid 'Omicron' Scare? Check Covid Test, Vaccination Status, Quarantine Rules And More

Flying to India Amid 'Omicron' Scare? Check Covid Test, Vaccination Status, Quarantine Rules And More
© Nivedita R | Travel Staff Flying to India Amid ‘Omicron’ Scare? Check Covid Test, Vaccination Status, Quarantine Rules & More (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi: Owing to the global scare of new Covid variant, “Omicron”, India has revised its international travel guidelines for flyers coming in from abroad. So, what does the new travel advisory say? Find out.

According to the latest travel guidelines issued by India to the international travellers arriving from Europe, including the UK, and 11 other “at risk” countries:

  • Passengers (irrespective of vaccination status) coming to India from ‘at-risk’ countries are required to mandatorily undergo COVID-19 testing at the airport upon arrival.
  • The travellers are required to upload negative RT-PCR test reports on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey.
  • Please note the Covid test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

The Health Ministry has clearly laid out five key steps for international travellers from countries “at risk”:

  • The passengers will have to submit a sample for a Covid test at the point of arrival, and wait for the result before leaving or taking a connecting flight.
  • If the test comes out as negative, they will have to follow 7-day home quarantine. The passengers can then take a retest on the eighth day of arrival. They will have to self-monitor their health for the next seven days.
  • If the test result comes out as positive, their samples will be sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network.
  • Those testing positive shall be sent to a separate isolation facility and treated as per standard protocol, including contact tracing.
  • The contacts of positive cases will be kept under institutional or home quarantine and monitored strictly by the state government concerned as per the Covid protocol.

Apart from all countries in Europe, including the UK, there are 11 other nations listed as “at-risk” by the Health Ministry, including:

  • South Africa,
  • Brazil,
  • Bangladesh,
  • Botswana,
  • China,
  • Mauritius,
  • New Zealand,
  • Zimbabwe,
  • Singapore,
  • Hong Kong and
  • Israel.

Meanwhile owing to the growing concern over the new Covid variant, which is considered a “variant of concern” by World Health Organisation (WHO), the Health Ministry has directed the states to implement a four-pronged approach, which includes:

  • intensive containment;
  • active surveillance;
  • increased coverage of vaccination; and
  • enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour “in a very proactive manner”.
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